Plan a School Wetlands Project

Wetlands play a critical role providing habitat for a diversity of wildlife and improving the health of local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.  Wetlands act as sponges, soaking up stormwater and trapping polluted runoff. The subsequent gradual release of water minimizes erosion and slows the flow of stormwater into rivers, streams and the Bay. Wetland plants filter and absorb nutrients, sediment and chemical contaminants before these pollutants can flow to nearby waterways. Wetlands are especially important in our cities, towns and suburbs, where development and impervious surfaces drastically increase the rate and volume of polluted stormwater runoff.

Unfortunately, over the past 50 years, the Chesapeake Bay watershed has lost at least 50% of its wetlands to development, sea level rise and invasive species. Creating, restoring and protecting wetlands is key to clean water, healthy habitats and a restored Bay. A school wetland (there are many sizes and types to choose from) can also provide a fascinating outdoor laboratory for instruction across many disciplines.

Before You Start

Overview: Project Planning Basics

Overview: School Grounds Site Assessment

Assess Your Site for a Wetland Project

Design and Preparation

Overview: Project Design Basics

Wetland Design Considerations

POW! The Planning of Wetlands

Chesapeake Region Native Plants


Overview: Project Implementation Basics

Wetland Implementation Considerations

Bench and Platform Sample Designs


Overview: Project Maintenance Basics

Wetland Maintenance Considerations

Typical Constructed Wetland Maintenance (CBLP Sustainable Landscape Manual)

Using Your Project

Overview: Using Your Project

Eco Schools WOW-Wetlands Sustainability Pathway

Bay Backpack: Wetland Lessons & Activities

POW! The Planning of Wetlands

WOW! The Wonder of Wetlands

Project WET: Water Education for Teachers

Monitor for Change

Project WILD: Aquatic

Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills-Citizen Science K-8 (AFWA)

Eco-School Sustainability Pathways Lessons & Resources

Eco School National Standards & Curriculum Alignment

Project Learning Tree Curriculum Offerings

Eco Schools Green STEM Initiative

Sharing Your Project

Overview: Sharing Your Project

Resource Center

Project Resource Library: Learn More!
Eco Schools USA
National & State Green School Programs
Bay Backpack Teaching Resources Search Engine
EPA Learning & Teaching About the Environment (awards, resources, more)